PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Penn State Alumni Battling YikYak With New App, DormChat

While immensely popular, YikYak’s flaws are certainly no secret, especially at Penn State. With a new app they call a “local Twitter,” two Penn State alumni are seeking to streamline communication and provide an alternative to YikYak at college campuses across the country.

The app, aptly (no pun intended) named DormChat, allows users to post under different topics related to their school in a fashion similar to both YikYak and Twitter. Some of the topics in the area currently include “THON Memories” and “Waffle Shop,” with posters sharing content under usernames. While not completely identifiable, the lack of anonymity adds a step of personalization YikYak doesn’t have.

“At Penn State, there was never an easy, centralized way to communicate,” said Adam Michalski, app co-owner with Doug Holmes. “I saw the same thing when I moved into Hoboken. Every solution for local messaging is either dating-based (Tinder) or flooded with bathroom stall content (Yik Yak). There had to be a better way, so we started building.”


Michalski first introduced the app at Penn State in March, and it’s since expanded to 60 universities, including Arizona State and UCF. While Twitter connects users to what’s happening in the world, says Michalski, DormChat connects them to what’s happening directly around them. And in another upgrade from YikYak, users can post photos, tag, and direct message other users. Similar to YikYak, the chats are geologically based.

Michalski credits much of his idea for the app to his Penn State experience.

“The education I received gave me the skills I needed to jump into the NYC Tech scene headfirst and continue building on the solid foundation I got from Smeal,” he said. “Secondly, had it not been for experiencing the issue of no centralized way to communicate on mobile at PSU, I likely would never have started a company focused on this pain point. I owe it all to State and the ability to give back in anyway at all makes this all worth it.”

In the THON spirit, the app currently has a thread called “THON Games” in which users can post their THON total predictions down to the penny, and for every post in the thread, DormChat will donate $1 up to $500 to THON. Whoever is closest gets a dinner on Michalski and Holmes (and you can even invite them if you want!).

You can download DormChat here.

Image: TechCrunch

About the Author

Tim Gilbert

Former Managing Editor of this site, now just makes lots of #content for it from the Phyrst’s Table 69. Senior from Philadelphia. First-generation Penn Stater. I might go to law school after this, but I might not, too. “For the Glory” is in my email signature because I’m a douche. [email protected] is my email if you want to tell me why I suck. Alternatively, you can call me out on Twitter @OlGilb.


More by Tim

Penn State’s New Academic Mark Is Just Awful

My brain is not able to understand how a team of people supposedly proficient in this industry gathered, looked at this new mark, and said, “Yes, this will do!”

Penn State Hoops To Host DePaul In Inaugural Gavitt Tipoff

James Franklin To Throw First Pitch At Yankee Stadium On April 28


Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

The Swedish faceoff specialist graduated after three seasons at Merrimack, but will be immediately eligible to play for Guy Gadowsky in 2018-19.

Harris, Rivers Win Big Ten Titles On Final Day Of Competition

Penn State Women’s Soccer Releases 2018 Schedule

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Penn 15-14 In Double OT

Penn State’s Kaleigh Riehl Headed To U.S. U-23 Camp

Student Life

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Not only is literally everyone at Penn State from “right outside of Philly,” ALMOST everyone also works “right outside of Philly.”

Penn Stater In The Running To Become Chief Taco Officer

Finding Your Penn State Beyond Penn State: Carolyn Popescu’s Senior Column

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

No Surprise Here: Saquon Barkley Can Throw, Too

Thirty yards out? No problem for Saquon Barkley.

Penn State Approved For Medical Marijuana Clinical Research

“The research component of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program sets it apart from the rest of the nation.”

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn Stater In The Running To Become Chief Taco Officer

Josiah Hritsko is one of three finalists to become Moe’s Southwest Grill’s “Chief Taco Officer.”

Send this to a friend